My parents celebrated 50 years of marriage on Saturday, in a mass at the local Catholic parish, in the presence of family and friends. Father Porfirio, the priest who officiated the mass, is an old friend of our family, and knew my brothers and sisters as they grew up. He didn’t recognize me, as I was a very small boy when he last saw me before.
Now however, almost all of my parents’ descendants and I have left the Catholic church for the Baptist church and an evangelical church called Gran Comisión. Nevertheless, in a touching sign of love and solidarity, my uncle, a Baptist preacher, my brother-in-law, a pastor, all embraced my parents during the traditional moment of peace.
The Mass was followed by a reception at the local Golf club. My sister Eveline had worked all day, together with my nephews Oscar and Joshua, to decorate the room, which looked resplendent in gold and white. About 100 guests, many of them lifetime friends of the family filled the place, together with my nephews and nieces, brothers and sisters, and an extra friend or two.
After a prayer, a toast to my parents, and a feast, we watched a fascinating video with pictures of our family, some of which dated to the turn of the 20th century, with my great-grandparents.
Then there was a brief dance, which only a few of the family felt like joining. One of my sisters, who has a fracture in her foot, was the soul of the party, dancing with a cast, her crutches abandoned nearby.
But the party was cut off much too soon, because of the curfew at twelve. We rushed to clean up and pack everything before leaving back to the hotels and my parent’s house, and in my case, saying goodbye to most of them, as many of us would be leaving early the next day.
Back in the house we enjoyed late night conversations, and eventually retired to bed, tired but extremely happy. A few hours later we were on our way back home, some by car, others by bus, and some by air. A beautiful weekend, and a once-in-a-lifetime event.